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Mauricio Brigante [Interview]

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With a sound that often finds the creative space between progressive and tech house, Colombian artist Mauricio Brigante has found a home on BOOTH, Serrano's Kitchen and Exx Boundless, while electronic music tastemakers Claptone and Oxia have praised his work. Also, an influential figure in his country's nightlife, Mauricio co-founded The Zoo Festival, which sits as a premiere electronic music event in Colombia's southwest region. Now, looking to explore a deeper side of his studio repertoire, Mauricio makes his Clubsonica debut with the soulful sounds of 'Nma'.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Mauricio to learn more about the release of 'Nma', his background, Colombian nightlife, DJing, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Mauricio, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hello how are you? Happy to be with you. My mood is a little variable due to certain situations in my life but I can say that I am fine. My last song I heard was Nils Framh – for

How was your summer? and what are your plans for the week?

My Summer was full of emotions in terms of musical production, I have made a change in my life and I am expressing it by making music. Work on music production and the releases I have at the end of the year

Your bio states you have a strong background in hip hop and latin music; so growing up in Colombia who were some of the first local artists who inspired you? And how did your love for these styles eventually transition into a career as a DJ and producer?

I grew up in Colombia. But also because of my dad's job I was able to travel to many parts of the world, so I have had a cultural diversity let's say a little different, but of course Latin music and hip hip have always inspired me. Of local artists, the Cali salsa groups, which are quite a few, and a hiphop group that always marked me was LA ETNIA. I always saw hiphop groups using turntables and when I saw them for the first time I fell in love with this beautiful one. Because playing on turntables is an art that I have fallen in love with to this day.

Tell us a bit about Colombia’s nightlife, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

The nightlife in Colombia has grown noticeably in terms of clubs in Colombia, I really like that there are clubs that now have a good sound system and musical diversity, that makes me very happy, there are several local DJs that I would like to recommend Juan Pablo Torrez, Kamilo Sanclemente, Pao Calderon, to name a few.

Tell us a bit about The Zoo Festival which you are co-founder of and is one of Colombia’s premiere electronic music events.

The zoo is a son who was born in 2014 with Alvaro, a friend of mine from a thousand battles, we looked for the need to be able to create a festival, at the beginning it was hard because Cali was in a transition speaking electronic music was very small. But with work and effort, notoriety has grown and it is the festival of southwestern Colombia.

You have a new track ‘Nma’ out now as part of Clubsonica’s Sampler, Vol. 4, tell us about the track and how it showcases your current sound.

NMA was born at the beginning of the year, I was totally inspired by a person who is the most important person in my life. I wanted to change my sound, I was very tired of the same thing. With NMA I wanted to show everything I felt and I think the result is very good. Now Mauricio is different and my sound has some afro and melodic house. I want to make more conscious music that transmits what I want to express.

Your sound generally leans to more of a tech house or afro flavour so we’re wondering what inspires your work and was there anything in particular that inspired ‘Nma’?

As I told you before, I played a lot of tech house and some Afro house. What if I get some inspiration from doing NMA? Of course Natalia was the key piece that inspired me to make NMA. Transmitting what you feel in a song is not easy, but with her help it became easier for me.

Clubsonica would perhaps not be the most typical label for you to release on given your usual sound so how did ‘Nma’ find a home there?

I totally agree because he was an artist who played and produced another line of music, but I have Juan Pablo and Kamilo Sanclemente as references. When I finished the project it was the first people I sent it to and thank God I got excellent feedback from them.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically on ‘Nma’.

Well, my setup is an imac, I have an orion 32 antelope audio card, some Mackie monitors, a novation impulse 49 controller, and I use ableton software. I try to buy libraries and plugins. Some plugins I use Valhalla delay, omnisphere, to name a few

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

What I enjoy most is being able to express what I feel, I'm still learning how to use Ableton, I think every day I learn more and more, because I feel that music is infinite, and something that I prefer someone else to do? Definitely the mixing and mastering.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

Now I think that being a DJ has become easy due to new technologies, but I think that now at this moment being a producer is really important, to make yourself known you must necessarily produce music, now my focus is to produce music this year I released 3 songs a my new style and I'm happy. Because when I'm doing my job as a DJ I can play many tracks or edits that only I have.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

I have been a DJ for approximately 20 years and have been able to go through many genres, trends and styles. But now I want to listen to and play a lot of more conscious music, music that fills you and doesn't take away your energy. Music should fill and transmit, now there is too much plastic music that lasts 1 or 2 years. That's not what I want for myself

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

My set times

20.00 to 22.00 Kamilo Sanclemente

22.00 to 00.00 Mauricio Brigante

00.00 to 2.00 Black Coffee

2.00 to 4.00 Hernan Cattaneo

4.00 to 7.00 Keinemusik

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

Chef 100%

Current top five tracks?

Mauricio Brigante – Nma

Mauricio Brigante – On route to Montenegro

Adam Port & Monnolink Point of no return

Alan Dixon – Forms of love

Black Coffee &me – The Rapture III

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Of course 2023 was decisive for me. because I always hid something that I didn't want to see, I had been suffering from anxiety and depression and in 2023 everything exploded. The truth is that many artists hide about this. The world of the night is very heavy. But I can now say that I am really well, and music was a great help to get out of this.

'Nma' is available now via Clubsonica: https://shorturl.at/doG18

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